Diving for gems

Crafting a classic poses a daunting, albeit thrilling, task for serious modern musicians. Incorporating blues, early rock, and country-western elements to songs with fresh pop sensibilities is a good start, however. And the collaborative entity of Scuba La Boobala is well on its way to memorable status amid our current throwaway culture.

SLB is the brain-child of Jason Van Doorn (formerly of General Clusterfunk). He enlisted the help of Bob Ebeling (ebeling/hughes), who then invited longtime musical partner Charles W. Hughes to join the project. Bob Monteleone of Black Market, Jeff Fowlkes of Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise and Phil “Greasy” Carlisi of The Reefermen jumped in as well.

The artistic vein of SLB’s debut self-titled CD draws from the psychedelia period of the Beatles, the rock/funk of early Red Hot Chili Peppers and the full, epic sound of drugged-out classic rock Americana with enough inventiveness to avoid smelling musty.

And there’s even a cohesiveness while incorporating all of these varied elements. An alt-country tromp (“Holly Holiday”) segues with a short interlude into a modern soul-pop ballad (“Should’ve Known Better”). Closing with a “too cool to care” guitar solo, the tune careens into a trip of a song (“Gone For Good”). As a whole, the album was well thought out. Each listen provides a new thrill, whether it’s a neo-nostalgic slide guitar solo, stand-up organ groove, or a meandering, moody melody.

Melissa Giannini is the Metro Times music writer. E-mail [email protected].

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